Posts Tagged ‘Gearbox’

Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Monday, March 4, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.

News!

Kotaku is reporting that Jason West, co-creator of Call of Duty, co-founder of Infinity Ward and, most recently, co-founder of Respawn Entertainment, has not been with the studio since last May. Respawn isn’t talking, and declined Kotaku’s request for comment. Interestingly, Game Informer conducted an interview last May with West and his partner at Respawn, Vince Zampella. At that time, there was no mention of West’s departure.  Respawn popped back into the news recently, as Zampella tweeted that the studio would finally be at E3 to show off what they’ve been working on.

On the PlayStation Europe blog, Sony has indicated that PlayStation Plus will have a prominent role on the PlayStation 4. Sounds like there’s reason to rejoice… right? Before you uncork the champagne, let’s examine exactly what was said.

How do you see the PlayStation Plus service evolving over the next couple of years as PlayStation 4 enters the ecosystem?

Jim Ryan [Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President and CEO]: We’re very happy with the service that we’ve been able to offer with PS Plus. It’s been really well received – the value is quite extraordinary and the take-up has trebled over the course of the past year. We definitely see that as a core part of the way forward. We’re not yet in a position to disclose our plans for the future of PlayStation Plus, but there will definitely be a prominent role to play for it in the PlayStation 4 landscape.

It is entirely possible that Sony will stay the course with the service and continue the Instant Game Collection program on PS4. I think it’s more likely that PlayStation Plus was a trojan horse to build a base of paying customers. Microsoft approached this by telling customers to open their wallets in order to play online. Sony needed to take a different approach since they promised free online play. Instead of putting social features behind a paywall mid-generation, they slowly ramped up the level of incentives. Discounts, cloud saves and free games lured in many. Sony even managed to capitalize on one of the platform’s greatest weaknesses, obtrusively long patch times, giving Plus members the option of automatically checking for updates during off hours.

The hardest part is getting customers to open their wallets for a subscription that first time. That is doubly true with PlayStation Plus, because free games downloaded using the service cease to work if a user’s subscription lapses (making renewals and easier selling proposition). Using this approach, Sony has created and reinforced a consumer habit of paying for a PlayStation service. It would be very easy for them to keep the Plus name (especially now that it has an attached perception of being a good value) and alter the service greatly on the PlayStation 4. Online play behind the Plus paywall? Sure. Access to Gaikai streaming when (if?) that ever becomes a reality? Definitely. Streaming and sharing? It wouldn’t surprise me. Continued early access to demos and betas? Absolutely. Instant game collection? Maybe… but with the service so tightly integrated into the PS4’s bullet point selling features (especially if streaming and sharing are premium offerings), I wouldn’t count on it.

According to a report on Polygon, TimeGate Studios, one piece of the infamous development quartet responsible for Aliens: Colonial Marines has laid off approximately 25 employees. You might recall that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford attributed approximately half the work on the critically-annihilated Aliens game to TimeGate, in a conversation with IGN. According to TimeGate’s president, Adel Chaveleh, ongoing projects at the studio have not been impacted by the staffing cuts. My thoughts are with those affected by the layoffs.

inXile Entertainment is returning to Kickstarter with a pitch for a new game in the Planescape universe entitled Torment: Tides of NumeneraRight off the bat, CEO Brian Fargo and company are working to allay any fears, stating that the artists and writers have completed work on Wasteland 2, the studio’s $2.9 million Kickstarter success. They are ready for their next project. By the time art and story are finished, developers will have wrapped up their piece of Wasteland 2, leaving them able to jump right into the TormentWasteland 2 is on track for an October 2013 release. If funded at the $1 million goal level or greater, Torment: Tides of Numenera will be targeted for a 2014 launch.

The Kickstarter campaign for Torment: Tides of Numenera will kick off on March 6, 2013, at 6 AM PST.

Entertainment!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of days. I am a big fan of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block, and I have a particular fondness for The Venture Brothers. Check out one of my favorite scenes recreated in Source Filmmaker. Henchmen gonna hench.

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Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Tuesday, February 12, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.

News!

Aliens: Colonial Marines from Gearbox and Sega is (officially) out today. Sega seems to have quietly leaked the game yesterday, with digital downloads and even some retail establishments letting consumers go home with it. There was quite a lot of embargo skirting in response, with critics urging patience to anyone planning to rush out. Now that the embargo has been lifted, the consensus (though not entirely unanimous) seems to suggest you would do well to wait until the title hits the bargain bin, and then only purchase if you absolutely must consume everything with an acid-blooded monster. The Metacritic score for the game is sitting at less than 50 on consoles and under 40 on PC. Ouch!

It seems that Gearbox outsourced a large portion of the game, though it would probably be best if Sega and their developer got the story straight. Sega told DSOG that Gearbox shouldered much of the development themselves, with a little bit of help. However, studio CEO Randy Pitchford told GamesIndustry something quite different.

According to the Pitchford, TimeGate contributed to “about 20 or 25 percent of the total time,” developing the game.

“Their effort’s probably equivalent to ours. Now, it’s not fair to take pre-production out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it.”

He also revealed that Nerve Software had contributed a number of multiplayer maps.

“These guys are hardcore. They have talent,” he explained.

“If I was going to lay all that carpet myself and build the stairs myself and do all the countertops myself, that house would never get done.”

Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, has added his voice to the countless Wii U owners dismayed by Ubisoft’s delay of Rayman LegendsEurogamer obtained a photo of the game designer and members of the Legends team holding a banner that states, “Release Rayman. Support Ubisoft Montpellier.” You can see the photo and read the whole story over at Eurogamer.

Bungie is getting ready to pull the curtain back on Destiny, their first non-Halo title in years. According to the Facebook page for the game, the first concrete details will be revealed on Sunday, February 17, 2013. Game Informer also has some information on an ARG for the game, or you can head on over to Bungie’s site and check it out for yourself immediately.

Today, EA was very clear on where they think Medal of Honor: Warfighter broke down. While their statement seems to be pointing a finger at developer Danger Close, it is possible that the EA Exec referenced in this Game Informer story could be talking about producers, who are on the publishing side.

Rumors!

The Last of Us might be seeing a delay. Best Buy is advising customers that  the game is now shipping on June 18, 2012via VGRevolution

Entertainment!

You deserve something good related to the Aliens franchise today. deviantART user Sgrum decided to blend the Xenomorph design from Alien: Resurrection with the classic setting of the Sulaco from Aliens. You can check out Sgrum’s profile on deviantART here.

Alien fanart by deviantART member Sgrum.

Alien fanart by deviantART member Sgrum.